Henry Deacon – An Anzac

I just returned from my trip to Gallipoli. I do plan to write a post about the trip but probably not for a few more days yet, still gathering my thoughts.

Anyway, On the morning of Anzac Day, as we approached the Anzac Cove Commemorative Area by ferry on I was given a poppy from our tour historian Brad. Later on whilst waiting for the Lone Pine Service to start, I wandered around and looked at some of the graves. For some reason, I kept coming back to this one, so this is where I placed the poppy. I decided that when I returned to Sydney, I would do a little research on Henry. He was killed in action between the 6th & 9th August 1915.

1089 – Henry Deacon – 4th Battalion

  • Name: Henry Deacon
  • Service number: 1089
  • Rank: Private
  • Roll title: 4 Infantry Battalion (October 1914)
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
  • Date of embarkation: 20 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney
  • Ship embarked on: HMAT Euripides
  • Ship number: A14

From looking at Henry’s service record, he was:

  • Born in Hardwick, Manchester, Lancashire, England
  • He was 45 years, 2 months old as at the 5th September 1914
  • His trade was Mining, Navying
  • He had no relatives listed
  • He severed for 3 years in the 3rd Battalion Devonshire Regiment, England. 10 years in Naval Artillery and 2 ½ years in Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Volunteer Rifles, with the last 2 years apparently being in NSW.
  • No Will was left
  • He was also known has Harry
  • He had share certificates located with his belongings being: Scrip for shares in ‘Wiclettea Proprietary Limited and Scrip for Shares in “Macquarie Bond Limited’

In May 1915, he was promoted to Corporal for distinguished conduct in the field. He was mentioned in Despatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton for ‘Gallant and distinguished services in the Field’. The honours and awards on the Australian War Memorial Website shows ‘Removed wounded from trenches under fire, as reported by Major Heane’

Despite having no known relatives, he did have many friends, one of which was H S Popcock who applied to have Henry’s personal effects, ‘of fundamental value, some small articles of jewellery which were given to him before leaving by my children’. He had lived with Henry for 5 years and had been a personal friend for 20 years. As there was no will and that there was no known blood relatives, Henry’s personal effects were left in Intestate.

In the Sydney Morning Herald on the 11th September 1915 his friends inserted the following family notice:

DEACON. – Corporal Harry Deacon, No. 1089, D Company, 4th Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, killed in action, Gallipoli, August, 1915. No relations, but lots of friends. Inserted by his comrades of the South African Soldiers’ Association. R. P. Chatfield and F. T. Richardson.

I have checked Ancestry to see if I can find his birth but no luck as yet. I’ll post more about Henry when I find more information about him.


  1. Thanks for sharing Henry’s story.

    I look forward to reading more posts about your Gallipoli trip. I found it very sobering when I visited, tears came easily. I cannot imagine the atmosphere you experienced on ANZAC Day.

  2. It’s touching that you found someone with no family but lots of friends to research. His mates would have agreed.

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